Tag Archives: Vitamin C

BANT recommends ‘extraordinary measure’ of Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplementation

BANT recommends ‘extraordinary measure’ of Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplementation for all adults as part of a wider prevention strategy for COVID-19.

With the apparent second wave of COVID-19 worsening, BANT recommends all adults supplement 1000mg of Vitamin C and a minimum of 600-800 IU/d vitamin D3 daily, increasing to a higher therapeutic dose of 5000 IU/d should symptoms develop (1). An adequate intake of Vitamins C and D is vital for immune resilience. Food sources of both are imperative for maintenance but unlikely to provide adequate quantities in case of infection. Supplementation of both nutrients at the given levels is safe, effective, and an inexpensive way to encourage individuals to take preventative measures to support their immune system. Vitamin D insufficiency is especially common in northern hemisphere countries where limited exposure to sunlight reduces our ability to naturally synthesise it through skin. For this reason, Public Health England recommend 10 micrograms of Vitamin D daily throughout the winter months.

Vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient and deficiency has been shown to correspond to a greater risk of respiratory tract infections, and acute respiratory distress in SARS-CoV-2 infections (1). A recent large meta-analysis (looking at 10,933 people in 25 trials), showed that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of cold and flu patients developing acute respiratory infections (ARIs) from 60% to 32% (2). Similarly, hospital data on early intervention with Vitamin D supplementation in SARS-CoV-2 infections reduced severity of the infection and lowered ICU admissions (3). The most abundant food sources of Vitamin D are oily fish, mushrooms and egg yolks. Three foods which are often absent in the nation’s regular dietary intake, and which alone cannot provide adequate levels, reinforcing the possible need for supplementation. In some individuals, testing and supplementation via their general practitioner may be best advised.

Evidence on Vitamin C is equally compelling. A potent antioxidant, Vitamin C plays an immuno-protective role to protect against oxidative damage to the cells, helping moderate inflammatory cytokines and reduce both the severity and longevity of infection (4). Whilst Vitamin C is readily available in foods such as citrus fruits and leafy greens, low storage capacity means a regular intake of it is necessary for adequate plasma levels.

BANT urges the government to make clear recommendations as part of a wider prevention strategy for COVID-19 to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their food choices and need for additional supplementation.

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Excluding nutrition from mainstream healthcare has contributed to the catastrophic impact of SARS-CoV-2.


For too long nutrition has been dismissed by mainstream healthcare, despite clear evidence that diet and lifestyle choices either contribute to health or increased risk factors for chronic disease. The rising obesity epidemic is proof alone that a more decisive tactic is needed to combat the discord between public health and personalised lifestyle medicine, of which nutrition plays an integral part. As we enter the next wave of COVID-19 restrictions, is it now the time to consider the role nutrition can play in preventative healthcare?

“Long-term failure to provide adequate nutritional guidance to the public and a reliance on generic advice from Public Health England to pick up the shortfall, has undoubtedly contributed to the catastrophic impact of SARS-CoV-2”

notes BANT CEO Satu Jackson. BANT Nutrition Practitioners offer personalised nutritional guidance to individuals and rigorously recommend testing for nutrient deficiencies as part of a preventative strategy for chronic disease. The results of the government’s one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare is evident with obesity levels and metabolic dysregulation continuing to rise exponentially (1) and worsening health of the public now contributing to COVID-19 outcomes.

The emergence of data pointing to nutritional deficiencies in SARS-CoV-2 patients (2) highlights the need for a more unified approach. BANT recommends Vitamin C and D supplementation be considered as part of a preventative strategy for COVID-19 (2) where food sources are unable to adequately support the individual. BANT calls on the government to consider the nutritional status of the public as part of the current pandemic, and to engage with BANT to work towards building a more inclusive and effective healthcare model.


  • https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet-england-2020-ns
  • Serum levels of vitamin C and vitamin D in a cohort of critically ill COVID-19 patients of a north American community hospital intensive care unit in may 2020. A pilot study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32964205/
  • Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths, 2020, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/4/988


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